Tag Archives: Paramount

Smile Review

I have two words, and they are SAY CHEESE! Smile is a terrifying, daring, and creepy experience. It is one of those horror films where I felt stunned. There are lots of jump scares, several hidden terrors, and little evidence to fight the horror. With Sosie Bacon and Kal Penn as doctors in a hospital, it is an excellent partnership to face the terror of Smile. Throughout the film, I was wondering who is next to face horror. I will say, however, the horror is airborne. Better hope for more resources and psychological aspects if the horror keeps getting warmer.

The psychological shockers incorporated with Smile is where the darkness unravels. One scenario leads to a death or an accident. Then there is a layout of cases that make no sense but are linked to the same type of scenario. The unraveling puzzles in Smile is bizarre. I even found myself afraid if someone were to have happy looks around me. Smile really knows where to find its label for its haunting aspects

In Smile, Bacon plays Dr. Rose Cotter who just witnesses a traumatizing incident with a patient. Her colleague is Dr. Morgan Desai (Penn). Morgan believes that Rose should take a break from her job working with patients to help clear her head. That is because following the incident, Rose starts to see disturbing images in her head, and it is taking over her daily life. The disturbing images are people smiling. That  is what her patient was doing before the incident happened. Soon, Rose starts to see even more harrowing images in her mind, and it is invading her personal life as well. Her fiancé Trevor (played by Jessie T. Usher) does not know how to be on the same page as her, as do many others. This only puts Rose into a deeper hole as her terror is coming closer to her. Time is of the essence to confront the horror in Smile.

The pattern of Smile is like patterns of seeing ghosts. The concept of Rose seeing people with happy faces, and the past event from her traumatic episode is where the pattern becomes invigorating. As that continues, the more the problems for Rose are unexpected. The film’s trail is a landscape of a pattern that is supernatural with illusions. I love illusions, and Smile sold me on its illusions.

The context of terror is accurate in Smile. The many happy face in the film is a symbol of what is meant to be scary. It comes and goes in many enthralling fragments. Much of which is awry. No one can escape what is to come with Smile.

Two words, and they are, BE AFRAID! Smile had me afraid. It will have many afraid. Some of the film may be predictable. It is in some fragments. It is not though, in every aspect. There is many surprises waiting to come around with Smile. Just be ready for creepy faces. Three stars.


Orphan: First Kill Review

People often question why a prequel would be made many years after the original movie was made. They also ask themselves whether it lived up to the expectations of the original movie. I have seen many prequels, and I’ve been impressed with some and disappointed with others. Orphan: First Kill just left me feeling neutral.

The first Orphan, from 2009, focused on terror and shocking discoveries. Orphan: First Kill adds in-depth detail and backstories about the discoveries in Orphan. It also lays out the foundation surrounding the evil Leena/Esther; Leena being her real name, and Esther being her imposter name. Isabelle Fuhrman is back as the evil and demented Leena, and this revival is one of the few exciting parts of the film.

In Orphan: First Kill Leena is in a mental institution in Estonia and she finds a way to escape. As a ravenous and evil person, she creates an escape plan from Estonia and makes her way to the states by pretending she is someone without parents, a girl named Esther. A family, the Albrights, takes her in. The Albrights include parents Tricia and Allen, and their son Gunnar, played by Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, and Matthew Finlan. Esther begins exhibiting strange behavior and there are increasing signs of troubles, but she’s initially more mentally scary than violently scary. Mrs. Albright begins to realize that Esther may be an impostor and Orphan: First Kill becomes a cat and mouse game of questions and answers. The Albright family does not want to believe what may be true about their Esther, and the film begins to feel more like a big family crisis rather than a pure horror flick. So the disturbing factors are toned down many notches in Orphan: First Kill, compared to Orphan.

Director William Brent Bell has an eye for a chilling, child terror premise. One of the more bizarre features of the film is that due to a rare hormone disorder Esther looks like a child, but she is actually a grown woman. A woman who looks like a young girl is repulsive and scary for many, including myself.

The foundation of Orphan: First Kill is in tune with Orphan, but It was just a little too obvious—a girl who is a killer escapes and finds a way to be an impostor, and then tricks a family into taking her in. Fuhrman’s return performance as an evil princess type is again daring and beyond deranged in an enticing and haunting way. So although Orphan: First Kill is obvious, it’s still a fun adventure of suspense. Overall, though, I give the film just two and a half stars.